I think a lot of book bloggers agree that there are things they look for on each of the blogs they follow. I don’t know if yours are similar to mine or not, but these are the things I believe all book bloggers should have on their site and some of the top things I look for when considering whether or not to push that follow button for the ones I may be interested in.
So it goes without saying that your book blog should have book reviews in some form or another. In a later post, I will discuss what I think these reviews should include. I also believe that at some point people get tired of reading review after review so spicing it up a little with a meme or an original post will attract more readers. I participate in Top 5 Wednesday every once in a while as well as trying to come up with my own ideas such as this one. However, participating in too many memes may make your readers unfollow. On Tuesdays for example, EVERYONE is doing TOP 10 Tuesday, which is fine but that is all my feed consists of for the day. I’ll read a few but after that, it becomes less interesting.
I’m also starting to do some video game and board game reviews as well to mix things up a bit but my main focus is still books!
A page listing all of your reviews is a must. I don’t necessarily want to sit at my computer and endlessly scroll through all of your posts to see what you have. I love those who provide an alphabetical list at the very minimum. Some go as far as separating by genre or author as well. Personally, I separate my reviews by series & age, authors, and titles to make it easy for someone to find what they are looking for when they visit my blog. Don’t forget to have a section for your other reviews as well, if you review more than just books!
You can even separate your other posts into categories as well, especially if you participate in a lot of tags, Top 5 Wednesday or Top 10 Tuesday posts. Have a drop down section at the top of your blog I found to be the cleanest way of doing this.
It can be brief or detailed but providing information on how you rate books is a must.
About Me Page
It doesn’t have to bee too detailed, but everyone wants to know the person behind the blog. I’m more keen on following people who have similar interests to mine because their blog content will be geared towards those interests. So explaining who you are and your interests are a must.
Don’t forget to include your favorite books somewhere. I have an entire page dedicated to mine.
We all need to know how to follow you and providing more than one option is beneficial. I provide buttons for my facebook page as well as my twitter account and Goodreads, mainly for those who don’t have WordPress. This makes it easy for them to keep up with my content without filling up their inbox, though email is always an option as well. This is also a great way for people to contact you for review requests.
Please provide a search bar on your site! It makes it super easy for people to find something quickly and efficiently, especially when they are looking for a particular book review or post.
Currently Reading, etc
Adding a widget to your homepage that allows readers to see what you are currently reading isn’t necessarily a must but I always enjoy knowing.
I also provide widgets for games that I’m currently playing as well as Tv shows. I chose these because I thought it would be interesting for people to know and maybe they will find something new. Also, I don’t have to update it too often because these things generally take quite a bit of time to complete, especially because I list a few at a time. Though, be careful not to overcrowd your sidebars!
Thought I should explain that a good color scheme is important. Making it difficult to read your posts will deter people from visiting your blog. For example, white on black is not a particularly good idea as it is difficult to read. Some people also do light pink on dark pink or something similar, which isn’t great either. Also, I don’t think obnoxious or busy backgrounds are a good idea. What do you all think?
Ads and pop-ups
Ads bother me immensely. Too many ads make loading times super long and I know of some blogs that have a ton of them. I rarely visit because it takes so long to load. I understand that a lot of people (including me) have a free site, so an ad or two isn’t your choice but if you have a choice, make sure you don’t have any or keep them limited.
If you have a pop-up email follow widget, I immediately leave the blog and don’t come back. This is just annoying. If someone wants to follow, they will. Throwing it in their face isn’t a great idea.
What are some things you look for in a book blog that you want to follow? Share your ideas below and maybe I will be able to expand this post! Do you agree with my ideas? Have you encountered any blogs that are difficult to navigate?